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QUESTION: "What are my options now? I'm going into hearing with nothing but my request for change of venue but no defense for modification of support?"
ANSWER: First of all, please allow me to say that I am genuinely sorry for the circumstances. I can only imagine how incredibly stressful and frustrating this whole mess is for you. Alright, here is how this works. Frankly, this is ridiculous. It is patently unfair to expect you to defend yourself against a case where your hands are tied behind your back. Accordingly, I would encourage you to think along the following lines. Seeking a change of venue was fine, makes sense and was a logical move, but there is a more foundational matter at the heart of things. Meaning, without enjoying personal jurisdiction over you as a defendant/respondent, the Court utterly lacks the power to enter any Orders against you, period. In other words, I would think about a "death knell" approach, meaning the Court would never even get to the merits of the State's case. This means moving for dismissal of the case against you. In my estimation, such a dispositive motion represents your best and most favorable option given the circumstances you have described here.
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I truly hope all works out for you.
First off I appreciate your quick response on this matter. Secondly, I still have to show up no matter what. The state DSHS prosecutor agreed with me over the phone for change of venue but he is not working for me but rather to get more from me in terms of financials. I'm not against modification of support just a chance to have it heard locally and AFTER first hearing my petition for parenting plan changes. I feel they are putting the cart before the horse but my ex-spouse is pushing this to go through, after all its a gain for her and no attorney expense. In going into the courtroom is there something I should say in legal terms that will make the court think along the lines of delaying the procedure for modifications. Without any defense or paperwork can they still move forward with modifying?
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QUESTION: "Without any defense or paperwork can they still move forward with modifying?"
ANSWER: Alright, I see your line of thinking here. No, absent paperwork, there is really no way to proceed with modification. The Court is guided by the statutes in a showing of a material change of circumstances and so forth. What I mean is that without some documentation, there is just no evidence to support such an award. In terms of what to say, please be careful in the following manner. If you want to try and contest jurisdiction, you will need to be very precise in making what is called a "special appearance", meaning you are showing up at the Courthouse solely for the purpose of claiming a lack of personal jurisdiction mandating a dismissal. Discuss one speck of the substance of the case, and you are making a "general appearance" and submitting to personal jurisdiction. In showing up, there are no magic words except to stress two factors to the Court, namely: (1) your lack of notice; and (2) your lack of paperwork. That will always be the points to which you return. Prosecutor says XYZ, Judge lets you respond. "Your Honor, I will be glad to consider the claim made by the Government. However, I have received no notice of these proceedings and no documentation whatsoever to have a fair opportunity to review the allegations." Something along those lines. At the very least, you certainly have the makings for a continuance to allow you such a chance. That is a matter of Constitutional Due Process magnitude. This will be interesting to see how "amused" (not) the Judge will be with this lack of notice and evidentiary submissions.
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You are quite welcome -- my pleasure to be of some service!
Many thanks in advance for taking the time to favorably rate my answer -- greatly appreciated! It makes my day to know that I have helped someone, so I appreciate your taking the time to let me know you found my answer to be helpful.
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